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24 August 2009 @ 06:00 pm
Numb3rs Series/Universe: Virtue (2/2)  

See the Numb3rs Series/Universe: Virtue (1/2) post for earlier Virtue Confessions and links to all Parts.)

Virtue Confessions Continued...

Parts 27/28 Confession

I talked so much I filled up my Series post! /facepalm/

I confess I don't have actual statistics or on the ground first hand knowledge of Moreno Valley. I just knew someone who lived there and know people who live not far from there. Apologies to those in the Inland Empire, but I've been through the Mo Valley area more than once and it didn't strike me as a a place I wanted to spend any time in. It hasn't got the best of reputations so I kind of used that to my advantage in the fic. (That enough disclaimers to keep me out of trouble?) ;-)

"Hey, how about them Dodgers?" Darby said, quickly changing the subject.
In canon, the Eppes men are fans of the Dodgers. (Do not ask me why. I am genuinely perplexed on that front seeing as how the Angels, at the time, were far less embarrassing a team to support.) IRL, "How about them Dodgers?" is a totally valid, if amusing, all purpose subject changer/avoidance answer. LOL

Head injuries - take them seriously. A five word PSA for you today. /grins/

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome - DON'T DRINK IF YOU'RE PREGNANT OR THINK YOU MIGHT BE! A capslock PSA for you. Spread the word.

I wrote Virtue last November, long before Lou Diamond Phillips decided to go on I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! and way before he won it. (Go Lou!) Ironically, not only did he win, his charity, Art Has Heart, is youth art related - same as what Vice!Megan decides to support. I have visuals in my head for the silver metal wall sculptures (Imagine the aesthetic of Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall, which is even more amazing in person) but they're not anything that exists. These might give people an idea though: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

Dom Perignon might not be the in champagne du jour, but I doubt they're hurting for rich clients to drink it. I have no idea if certain bar stools are better for drunk people, but I have faith that Charlie can come up with math for just about anything. LOL If you want to consider the energy efficient lighting a tiny PSA, the conservationist in me says go for it!

Anyone else think it was a bad idea for Amita to expose the existence of the feed jammer to one of Tuttle's employees? /raises hand/ Nice way to ruin the case against Ian in court by providing evidence that his story about Charlie planning and faking it might be plausible. OHAI reasonable doubt! (Not that anyone reading this believes there would actually be a trial.)

About Millie's new hires... I'm going to have to think about who I might pluck from canon to play them in the future for the Sin spin off series, but for now Alice Chen (Kelly Hu) might not be a bad idea. I'm also thinking of using Emmanueline from Nine Wives since I blew using her before. Anyone who saw Anne Dudek as Tessa on Bones or Amber on House would buy that she could pull off a statuesque hot blonde in a heartbeat.

Miller and DeWinter are canon FBI agents, both from the pilot I believe. It made sense to translate them to Don's employees, given the Viceworld good/evil flip. They were never seen on screen and never given first names AFAIK, so I came up with names for them. I don't recall why I chose the name Curtis, but I do try to pick names less likely to show up in canon in the future. (Thus Darius, Antoine and Darby. Kind of blew it on Tim though. Ah well, the whole rhyming trend is to blame for that: Donnie&Charlie and Kim&Tim? Heh. Parents.) Jack though? He's kind of an ass, thus the name. LOL

For those of you who thought it was painful to read the shop clerk's dialogue? It was painful to write it. /winces/ Note to self: Avoid that kind of writing in the future. Write only smart, high-class, educated characters. Yeah, I know. Good luck with that. Heh.

Next week the climactic finale begins!

Parts 29/30 Confession

GFPs = Green Fluorescent Proteins. This fic takes place in 2007. The scientists behind GFPs won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for them in 2008. They are very cool. GABA antagonists are real, but I have no idea if there are classes of them or if any are new. No clue where the name Olestraud came from or even if it is a name. Euler's number is indeed supposed to be lowercase. That same web page has the expression ce to the x.

Kim's birthday is 8/8 because I like the number 8. Why I wanted her birthday during Virtue I don't know. I'd ask the muse, but she's not talking. ;-)

Tag Heuer does make some very nice watches. Fit Flops exist. Not sure how well they work; I'm not a sandal fan. Spam musubi is a real dish served in real restaurants. Not sure why people like it.

"Dr. Ramanujan..." Amita mused.
/a snicker for this nod to canon/

"I'll get it!" Megan called out, rushing past where they were sitting in a bikini so skimpy it almost made Kim blush.
I had a picture of Megan's bikini but lost it. /grumbles/ This is fairly close, though I'm pretty sure Megan's was even skimpier.

"I know it's all the style for women to have right hand rings now..."
I'm so not up on jewelry trends so not sure when the right hand diamond ring trend started, but it's not like Don needs an excuse to buy a big fat expensive ring for his lady love.

Parts 31/32 Confession

I confess I was crushed to discover that one of my research files went missing and I no longer have a bunch of links to items I looked up to go along with Virtue, most notably the dresses the women wear. I went back to try to find them again, but having spent an entire day searching the first time, I wasn't able to duplicate the same paths and thus never found the dresses again. /cries/

The designers are real though: Stella McCartney, Michael Kors, Anna Sui and the one I truly am heartbroken to lose, Marios Schwab. It really was a lovely dress - better than described in the novel (though I'm pretty sure the one I found in pictures online wasn't red). Simple yet flattering and unique looking.

She pulled her black beaded dress out of its garment bag. When she'd first found it, she'd fallen in love with it. Now it had become a uniform - one of her closet full of scarlet letters that branded her a whore.
Yes, that's a reference to the novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne. And yes, I made Amita wear boring black on the same night when Don points out to Kim (and Tim points out to Robin) that they need to not wear black so they can stand out, thus underscoring how tired and kind of used up Amita is as a hostess.

"Charlie needs him."
"Working on it. So does Kim."
If anyone out there who watches Charmed? This was inspired by Piper being angry with her grandmother for not coming when she called after a death in the family (trying to avoid spoilers) and the grandmother's explanation as to who she could have been with who needed her more. I always liked that bit very much.

Don had to forcibly embrace him to get him to stop thrashing, holding him tight to his chest, finding himself subtly rocking his brother to quiet him - the memory suddenly stark and visceral from after their parents died.
This was the point where Homicide reared its ugly head and started poking me to get started on it. Writing this happening after Alan and Margaret get shot and Charlie's only 13 plus Don's just killed a man? Wow. That's going to be intense. Anyone who wonders why I'm out of my head in November? Blame Homicide and NaNoWriMo. This is an ugly place I'm headed, people. I do not anticipate it will be fun writing those boatloads of angst in only 30 days.

Parts 33/34 Confession

Now you see why I put this bit in Part 29.
"Honestly? I'm scared out of my wits," Kim admitted, keeping her voice quiet enough that only he could hear. "I felt the same going into Code for Don's party. I feel like I've got a big target painted on my back and while I know Ian wants to hurt Don more than he wants to hurt me, what if he decides the best way to make Don suffer is to shoot me?"
See? Kim really did have a big target painted on her back.

I admit I have no idea how trackers/homing devices and such work. Whether technology like I used in the fic exists, I'm not sure, but based on my understanding of tech, there's no reason - other than profitability - why it shouldn't.

I know I should have had Kim tell Don about the baby earlier, but this is a drama! It's not as fun if it's not dramatic! LOL Amusingly I wrote that bit about Kim thinking about telling Don the same day I posted. It wasn't in the original draft. I guess it's just my dun DUN! /evil laughter/

I ♥ Darby. The candy striper line kills me. I can't wait to write more of her in the prequels and Sin. I'm going to miss her in the first few prequels.

I confess in my outline this day isn't noted by its date like all the others. It's called KIMSHOT. LOL In Vice the final three days were denoted by the climactic events in them as well. Virtue has three named days at the end to match.

I finally got my ambulance scene! As a H/C junkie there are few things I love like a near death, hand holding, professions of love ambulance scene between a couple. Gunshot wounds aren't mandatory, but they're an excellent source of life threatening injuries. Losing consciousness FTW! I couldn't fit flatlining or a crash cart in, but I'll have to use those in a hospital scene in some fic. Oh wait, I already have. /grins/ This one had the bonus melodrama of the injury being so close to the baby and the whole engagement ring issue. A bit over the top, perhaps, but I enjoyed it and it's my novel damn it. There should be at least something to feed my inner fangirl in it. /grins/

Parts 35/36 Confession

Did I get you? /evil grin/

I really wanted to draw out the funeral/Kim death as long as I could, hoping to convince doubters that Kim really was dead only to reveal she was alive just to destroy the last bit of satisfaction Ian had in the end.

As I mentioned in last week's Confession, the last three days of Virtue are named in my outline rather than dated. This one is called FUNERAL. I can't tell you what the final one is called yet because it would give it away the same way I couldn't tell you today's name last week.

For those who don't remember or recognize Jonas, Mack, Bob and Grey, they're from The Unit. (FWIW Mack is played by none other than Max Martini who also played Billy Cooper. Yes, I know! Yet I put them in the same fic anyway. And Bob is played by Scott Foley, whom some may remember as Noel on Felicity. Jonas = Dennis Haysbert aka President Palmer on 24 or you may have seen him on the Allstate Insurance commercials.) They appeared briefly in Vice as the special ops team that whisked Charlie off to the yacht for his protection and then returned him to Don, sullen at being taken away against his will. This proves that they answer only to Don, although I'd imagine Don's set Howard and Megan as able to authorize them as well. Just not Charlie. ;-)

In my mind, Don knows that Ian knows his playbook and has come up with contingency plans for everything Don or Megan might try. So I imagined Don going back to his strategy books and coming up with a plan. If the enemy knows your playbook? Use someone else's playbook. Even better, have someone else make the play. Thus Jonas and his team capturing Ian on Don's behalf because to Don, winning - and making sure his family is safe - is secondary to the egotistical satisfaction of beating Ian personally. Therein lies how Don defeats Ian, for Ian wants to kill Don himself. If he'd just hired a hit man, odds are Don would be dead. It was needing to do it himself that was his undoing - his pathological hatred of Don that compelled him to see it happen else risk not being satisfied. His failing, his end.

I'm don't have intimate knowledge of Jewish burial tradition, but the idea of burying a body within 24 hours was advantageous to Don because it meant less of a wait to flush Ian out plus less of a chance someone would leak that Kim is still alive, thus ruining the trap.

Kill or be killed.
Any Buffy fans out there remember the Thanksgiving episode with the Indians? This was inspired by Spike's (oddly rational) speech. "It's kill or be killed here. Take your bloody pick."

And we come to the part of Virtue that most perfectly parallels Vice: Ian's execution as juxtaposed against Billy's execution in the very same room. Consider this: while it's been almost two years since I published the Prologue of Vice (9/25/07) that date in Viceworld time was only about six weeks earlier. Billy died 6/1/07 and Ian died 8/16/07. So those wounds are still very fresh to Don and Megan, the ache in the cemetery? Still sharp. But in that time the reins have been handed over and Don made a promise to Kim that he was done with crime. So in a sense, by letting Megan kill Ian he's a) keeping his promise to Kim b) proving Kim is far more important than this vendetta with Ian c) letting Ian know just how unimportant he really is d) helping Megan establish herself as the new and tough fearless leader (read leader to be feared). Wow, who knew an MBA could be so handy in crime? ;-) Besides, his casually mentioned fact that Kim's alive and doing well is the ultimate in coldness - robbing Ian of even that small satisfaction just before his death. While Megan wasn't married to Billy or anything, they had a bond and he filled a void in her life that no one else can fill (for now, I have plans for her in Sin) so in her mind Ian took Billy from her by making him turn against them, so she blames Ian - not Don. As second in command she knows, logically, that Don did what had to be done. Hate it as she must, she never challenges the decision, knowing she'd have done the same herself to protect everyone else in her care. So we have parallel faked suicides, both witnessed by David (I added Colby in for a bonus boost to Megan's new leadership), both bolstering the status of the organization leader who coldly pulled the trigger. Welcome to the jungle.

I made some changes to this right before posting. I added Don's section where he looks Ian in the eye and tells him how he killed Billy. I also added Megan looking Ian in the eye to see the fear she wanted as her payback for Billy. One thing that had to stay as is were the two lines ending the scene to mirror Don saying goodbye in the Prologue before pulling the trigger. Little stuff like that makes me happy. I do so love my repetition, I do. ;-)

I admit I don't know how many weeks old a fetus has to be for their heartbeat to be able to be picked up by a fetal heart monitor, but I loved the idea of the parents to be listening to it, so I put it in anyway. And yeah, Don would so buy one for them to listen at home. LOL The entire schoolgirl names/Juliet thing is brand new. I don't know where it came from, but Shakespeare lover that I am and classic overachiever brain, I had to give Kim that as well and get to enjoy that Don's good education made him capable of quoting Shakespeare off the cuff. /loffs/ FWIW their daughter will not be named after either of their dead mothers. They'd both agree that's too much grief to saddle a child with and will give her fresh names to make her own way in the world without the onus of memory. In retrospect, I should have chosen another of Shakespeare's plays because I already had smarmy Marshall call Amita his Juliet. Ick.

For the record, these are the Shakespeare quotes:
"'But, soft!'" he quoted, taking her hand and pressing a kiss to it. "'What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east and Juliet is the sun.'"
"'What’s in a name?'" he breathed, hovering above her lips. "'That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.'"

I adore Ray as the head of the cleaners! I have no idea if the prices I quoted for him are in line with what criminals would actually pay, if that sort of service were available, but essentially he's a forensic scientist who just works for the other side. His job is to make sure to remove or destroy all evidence that a forensic scientist working for the good guys might find and use against his clients. Though the term cleaner could also mean assassin (see Leon/The Professional for a great cleaner flick with an awesome cast: Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman, Danny Aiello), I chose it because it's literal and true. They do clean crime scenes, just for the bad guys. I get a kick out of the paper shredder and specially treated paper envelope to destroy any evidence of the paper they all just memorized. These are true professionals. Ha ha!

I know it's pushing it a little to make Charlie such a good hacker, but in my experience a lot of hacking is about having good tools to do the heavy lifting for you. In Charlie's case he's very computer savvy and he has lots of money to pay for good tools. Add to that he's a criminal and he's likely to have quite a lovely toy chest of hacker tools to draw on the average hacker can't match. Amita? She's a computer scientist in canon so I let her keep some of those hacker skills in Viceworld, even though she's only got a Bachelors degree.

Parts 37/38 Confession

This Confession will be posted the final week of Virtue. Sorry for the delay!

Epilogue Confession

This Confession will be posted the final week of Virtue. Sorry for the delay!
riverotter1951riverotter1951 on August 27th, 2009 03:12 am (UTC)
You wrote: In canon, the Eppes men are fans of the Dodgers. (Do not ask me why. I am genuinely perplexed on that front seeing as how the Angels, at the time, were far less embarrassing a team to support.

The Angels baseball team was created in 1961. If the Eppes family has been in LA since Alan was young [he's probably in his late 50s or early 60s], he would have grown up as a Dodgers fan. The Dodgers [in the 60s and 70s] gave 3 pairs of Dodger tickets to every high school kid with a B average or better. This built team loyalty. My sister qualified all three years of high school.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on August 27th, 2009 03:25 am (UTC)
Ah, but fans can be so fickle! I saw lots of people who grew up Dodger fans change their stripes when the Angels started winning big.

FWIW I don't believe Alan grew up in LA. In my personal canon he's from NYC, perhaps Margaret also. They clearly were there before they met and got married since they met at Alan's work, but that means he would have missed the loyalty program.

This is beside the point, because they're fictional. What I'm perplexed about truly is that the *writers* wrote them to be Dodgers fans in 2004/2005 when the Angels had won the World Series as recently as 2002.

That's a cool factoid though! I like the idea of kids who get good grades getting spiffs for their hard work. /nods/ Thanks for sharing!
riverotter1951riverotter1951 on August 27th, 2009 01:42 pm (UTC)
If the writers are Dodger fans then it makes sense.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on August 27th, 2009 06:36 pm (UTC)
LOL Well, we already know the writers are fans of Craftsman architecture, so why not?